Waitr is anticipating a big surge in orders this evening as people celebrate Valentine’s Day at their homes, and CEO Chris Meaux says he’s confident the company will not see a repeat of the troubles it had during the holiday last year, when drivers simply could not keep up with the high volume of orders.
“Last year we weren’t really using the data we had to prepare for what we expect,” says Meaux, who didn’t anticipate a surge in orders last year because he assumed most people would opt to dine out rather than call for delivery. “Last Valentine’s Day kicked off a complete revamping of our organization to a data-driven model. We took all of the lessons we learned last year and started to use all the data that we have to predict the future.”
A 30% to 40% spike in delivery requests last Valentine’s Day resulted in two-hour delivery delays in some cases, and many customers venting their frustrations online after they were unable to contact customer service reps. Waitr issued a public apology, with Meaux saying, “it pains me to know how many Valentine’s evenings we may have caused heartache for.”
Though it’s still early in the day, Meaux says Waitr is expecting at least the same amount of orders as last Valentine’s Day—and is prepared for even more.
“We’re prepared for a 50% plus surge,” he says, adding the company has employees on standby if needed. “We know that Waitr will be the fallback for people who can’t get a seat a restaurant.”
The app-based delivery service has doubled the amount of staff it typically has on duty for a normal Wednesday night, Meaux says. Extra drivers will be on the roads and additional customer service and restaurant support staff will also be working.